Museum Nasional, or the National Museum of Indonesia, seeks to preserve important pieces of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. It also hopes to inform and educate the public about the significance of saving such pieces by putting up exhibits and distributing brochures and other printed materials, with the end goal of encouraging them to be involved. The National Museum of Indonesia is a historical, geographical, archeological, and ethnological museum that has existed for over 200 years. It is also sometimes called the Elephant Building because of the bronze statue of an elephant that stands in front of it. King Chulalongkorn of Siam gave the statue as a gift to Batavia, which is what Jakarta was called during colonial times.
The museum’s history goes back to April 24, 1778 when a group of Dutch individuals decided to put up an institution that would promote research and advanced studies in the fields of archaeology, physics, history, and ethnography. One of them donated a building for the institution, which was eventually called Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences. He also gave important books and other objects of cultural significance in order to help the group start off on the right track. [Read more…]